I had never heard of the comic book but with Karl Urban and some interesting trailers it strangely enough ended up being the show I was looking most forward to this year so far.
Well other than some other things that I guess.
Small spoilers ahead.
There are many things the first episode did that I loved.
I’ve always liked things like Watchmen and The Incredibles, yes I said it Incredibles, which take a bit of a different look at Superheros. With those two they show a world that is used to Superheroes in a celebrity way and how the world can turn on them.
This one is a step behind that in that we’re in a world where Superheroes are still worshipped but like Watchmen it takes a darker look at them.
They might be saving the world, as they do in the first scene of the episode, but that doesn’t make them good people. We see two very different and dark sides to the story through the two main characters, Hughie and Annie or Starlight.
One lost his girlfriend when a Hero ran threw her in one of the most gory yet strangely beautiful moments you’ll ever see and the other is a Hero that learns that you just maybe don’t want to meet your Heroes.
In this world being a Superhero is more a business opportunity then anything else, there might be people like Starlight that want to do the right thing but the moment you get to the top, a member of The Seven, it is all about selling yourself as she learns in her first meeting where they are more concerned with fake merchandise being sold or people stealing their film ideas. It is far from super soldiers and people doing what is right and more about climbing the ranks to make money and to make the business money.
It also makes The Seven dangerous when you threaten them and their fame, which again we see first hand twice in this episode.
Obviously the characters are what make this show. A character like Homelander who is their version of a Superman or Captain America, in the eyes of the people he’s the leader of a bunch of Superheroes who keep you safe and no one questions it because they like being safe, underneath it all though he’s a leader of a bunch of people who in this episode actually kill and sexually assault more people, more innocent people, then any criminal we might meet. Antony Starr was able to make Homelander terrifying just by the subtle ways in which we see him act first up as a hero and then later in the episode when we see his true side.
On the other side the two main characters are in their way easy to understand.
Hughie’s pain and suffering is understandable, you fall in love with Robin so you feel just like he does when we lose her. They play on that “untouchable” vibe that celebrities and politicians have when they do wrong, act like it was a accident but fail to actually apologise. This leaves Hughie angry yet constantly faced with the man who killed the love of his life. Enter a guy who wants to help him get real justice and you can see why he ends up where he does. Jack Quaid and Karl Urban have great chemistry and whilst I really enjoyed the entire episode top to bottom I have to admit that I am really interested in seeing more of them together, Quaid was for me the best part of the show and I love his character of Hughie as you can probably tell.
Then you have Annie, she gets her dream job of being in The Seven. Getting to save the world as a Superhero. She had to audition for the role, she was sat in her kitchen moping thinking she hadn’t got her dream job just like all of us do when we do things like that. This might be fantastical but it was a girl getting the job she always wanted.
In a male dominated world.
You can tell where this is going and also why there were so many warnings at the beginning of the episode.
Nothing explicit ever happens on screen, other then a shot of The Deeps backside, but you feel for her and get behind her as a ridiculous meeting with Hughie energises her to continue down her dream path and not let what the other Heroes want to do to her get her down. Again Erin Moriarty makes you care so much about Annie, so much about her winning this game that she’s been thrown into, she’s just so good. I loved her audition tapes, I really loved her standing strong for herself and I do hope that she gets to kick some ass soon.
That being said the entire cast is superb and it makes it even more fun to watch.
I said earlier about the scene where Robin, Hughie’s girlfriend, is accidentally killed by A-Train. Within the first few minutes of the show you have this spectacle and even though I felt the beginning was pretty slow paced, though by the end of the episode you realise how good that was anyway, this moment just makes you incapable of switching off. It is so out there and yet, as I said above, so beautifully crafted that even though it is over the top and the actual end of that scene is both hilarious and yet scary that you can’t help but want to see more.
Later in the episode we have Billy Butcher fighting Translucent, another Member of The Seven who turns invisible, kind of but we won’t bore you with those details, and the way around that fight was brilliant in itself. Another pretty amazing scene. The entire show was just fantastic to watch, mixing the brightly coloured costumes of a Superhero, though muted down, with the darker look of the city.
People are saying with Endgame done the Superhero thing is kind of coming to a close. If we are going to get stories like this coming out more then I’m happy with that.
Honestly blew me away.